17th Annual ECSS-Congress, Bruges 2012

Abstract details

Abstract-ID: 726
Session: [OP-SH24] Sociology (Sport and gender)
Lecture room: Live 10
Date & time: 27.06.2015 / -
Authors: Eliasson, I., Johansson, A.
Institution: Department of Education, Umeĺ university
Country: Sweden
Abstract text Introduction Many girls and boys quit sport in their teens and the reasons for this has eluded scientist and sport organisations for many years. This study was initiated by the Swedish Floorball Association with the aim to understand why many teenage girls quit floorball and to increase knowledge about what sport clubs can do to prevent girls from dropping out. A special research focus was directed towards the disengagement process which the girls undergoes when they take the decision to quit their sport. Methods The study is based on data from 24 semi-structured interviews with 12 girls aged 13-18 years (n=12) and with one parent from each of the girls (n=12). The girls belonged to three different floorball clubs geographically spread in Sweden and had quit floorball from 6 months to 2,5 years ago. The study draws on Ebaughs (1988) theory of the disengagement process. Results The results showed that the disengagement process can take from a few months up to two years before the girl takes the final decision to quit. The process was described by four different phases 1) First doubts 2) Seeking alternatives 3) The Turning point 4) After the decision. While the parents were involved in the process representatives from the sport clubs were almost absent. The longer into the process the girls where the more final their decision became. Six factors were identified as the main reasons for the girls to quit their sport, often a girl quit due to a combination of three to four of these factors. The most salient factors were an increased focus on sport performance and results, changes in the team’s formation, new coaches and changes in the coach attitudes, interest in other activities or sports, lack of time and high demands on themselves. No one of the girls in this study had been contacted from the sport organisations after they quit. Discussion The results points out the impact different changes had for the girls’ decision to quit and the importance for the clubs to be aware of this. It also highlights how the absence of the representatives from the sport clubs in the girls’ disengagement process led to limited knowledge about the girls’ feelings and thought processes which means they were less able to adopt accurate strategies or to implement appropriate interventions to reduce the dropout rate. One message to the sport organisations is therefore to develop strategies for how to gather knowledge of their members’ thoughts and feelings about their sport participation and be proactive in their work concerning how to handle changes, group cohesion and coach education. Organisation and leadership in the sport organisations were seen as key areas to develop when the ambition is to lower dropout rates. References Ebaugh, H., R., F. (1988). Becoming an EX. The process of role exit. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Contact annika.johansson@umu.se, inger.eliasson@umu.se
Topic: Sport Management and law
Keyword I: Disengagement process
Keyword II: dropouts
Keyword III: organisation in sports